“Agrivoltaics” Pairs Green Energy with Sustainable Agriculture

The world’s increasing emphasis on green energy has led to the emergence of a practice called “agrivoltaics,” which combines sustainable agriculture with renewable energy. With the global population reaching 8 billion in late 2022, food production is becoming an increasingly important industry.

However, the food supply chain produces roughly 9,800 to 16,900 million tons of carbon dioxide every year, and its emissions are projected to reach 30% by 2050. To make food production sustainable, farmers in many nations are combining farming with clean renewable energy.

Adapture Renewables, for instance, debuted the concept of integrating solar farm projects with sheep grazing to optimize land use. The Oakland, California-based solar project developer has introduced herds of sheep to the BT Cooke Solar and Catan Solar projects in Texas.

This allows Adapture to use its land as efficiently as possible, support community agriculture processes, mitigate the vegetation management challenges that typically plague solar farms and limit the need for regular mowing, which also cuts down on its fuel consumption.

As a concept, agrivoltaics doubles the pros of solar farms and agriculture to local communities and is a great showcase of a sustainable land-use model that could open the door to a new wave of clean energy projects in the United States and worldwide. However, despite the many benefits the approach offers, combining sheep grazing with solar farms is not without its risks. As such, companies in the green-energy space should consider how livestock grazing impacts the environment before considering agrivoltaics projects that combine livestock grazing with solar farms.

According to a study published in the “Nature Climate Change” journal, there is a very thin line between harmful and beneficial grazing practices. Beneficial grazing practices can boost soil carbon sequestration and convert grazing lands into carbon sinks. On the other hand, excess grazing can harm the land by encouraging soil erosion and increasing carbon losses, making livestock farming a detriment that contributes to rather than hamper climate change.

The research shows just how important beneficial grazing practices are to the environment and underscores the delicate balance agrivoltaics projects have to maintain to ensure they don’t contribute to environmental degradation.

These projects’ choice of livestock could also influence the impact they have on the environment. Cattle produce significantly more methane and have a much higher impact on the environment compared to sheep, making them less than ideal for agrivoltaics projects. Replacing beef with more environmentally friendly options such as sheep could help businesses contribute to national and global greenhouse-gas emissions without compromising renewable energy goals or agricultural sustainability.

While Adapture Renewables is focusing on the generation of green energy in a way that puts their sites to maximum use, other entities are also devoting their energies to fighting climate change in a different way. For example, Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) is focused on EVs to make transportation possible without using fossil fuels such as gasoline.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MULN

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